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Jewish World Review April 10, 2001 / 17 Nissan, 5761

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
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Consumer Reports

People who need perspective -- IT was interesting to see how few of the big newspapers carried front page stories about the Knight-Ridder sponsored undervote recount in Florida that showed George W. Bush the winner. USA Today editorialized that the recount should put the presidential election debate to bed, but in the words of the paper: "that's unlikely."

The recount result came just a couple of days after Barbra Streisand sent a scalding letter to some Democrats in Congress scolding them for being "too nice" to the Republicans. In the letter, Ms. Streisand claimed President Bush had "stolen" the election through a combination of family connections and intimidation. It is clear La Barbra is still brooding about Al Gore's loss, and I just hope she doesn't go the voodoo route with Mr. Bush.

Even though her presentation is dippy, Barbra Streisand has a perfect right to prod her party in any way she sees fit. It's clear the singer is passionate about politics, and I would like to know more about her philosophy. But that's impossible because Ms. Streisand will not submit to any rigorous questioning. Her loopy dictums come down from Malibu, Calif., but we never get a chance to sound her out in person.

This is the new trend among ideologues on both sides. Spit out the verbiage, but don't entertain any debate. Rosie O'Donnell is a champion of this tactic.

When was the last time you saw Ms. O'Donnell answer any questions about her leftist opinions? Never, that I can remember. Even when she was mugging Tom Selleck on the gun issue (by the way, Selleck should have cleaned her clock verbally but chickened out), she had in her employ armed bodyguards. Was that hypocritical? Is there some explanation besides protecting her family?

Hey, Rosie, here's a bulletin: Most Americans are just as passionate as you are about protecting their families, but they can't afford to hire guys packing heat. Do you get that, Rosie? Hello, Rosie, anyone home? ...

Martin Sheen is another great example of the talk and run trend. At a silly awards program a few months ago, Sheen got up on stage and told the world that he was "behind" Jesse Jackson. I got up from my LA-Z-boy and yelled at the tube, "What exactly are you behind, Mr. Sheen? Are you behind Jackson's payments to his mistress? The questions about him using tax-exempt funds for personal matters? Mr. Jackson's verbal attacks on anyone who would dare question his fund-raising methods?" We need some clarification here. But in a flash, Martin Sheen was whisked off the stage.

I know I shouldn't say this, but I would pay to interview Streisand, O'Donnell and Sheen. I would send them money in the mail if they would meet anywhere, anytime. But they will not, because to them I am a barbarian who dares to question their wisdom. I am not deserving of any answers because they are show-biz royalty and I am a journalist serf.

But if you really examine the record -- these three people owe me an interview. I am one of the few people on earth who sat through Barbra Streisand's movie "The Mirror Has Two Faces." I even saw "Yentl." I remember nothing about either of those two flicks except Barbra had a funny hat on in the latter.

It gets worse with Rosie O'Donnell. I actually saw her wearing lingerie in a movie starring Dan Ackroyd. You have no idea how that scene affected the sparse audience in the theater. All popcorn chewing stopped simultaneously.

And Martin Sheen, well, all I can say is that you don't really owe me anything yourself. But once we get into your offspring, Emilio and Charlie ...

The point is Americans have a right to demand that high-profile, high-volume stars explain themselves. I mean we didn't watch that awards program to hear Martin Sheen cheerlead for Jesse Jackson. Sheen imposed himself on us. Likewise, Ms. O'Donnell uses her TV platform to propagandize, and Ms. Streisand, unasked, sends Democrats scurrying in fear.

The least these three, and others like them, can do is to step up and be questioned. It is their patriotic duty to do this. If they truly believe all the dizzying words coming from their mouths, they should have no fear of people like me who just want to understand them better. For I am one of those people who needs people. And if these people ever give me an interview -- I'll be the luckiest person in the world.

JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and The Completely Ridiculous in American Life. Comments by clicking here.


04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate